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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. roads' intermodal moves register sole gain in AAR's weekly traffic tallies


For the first time in more than a year, U.S. railroads’ weekly carloads dropped significantly on a year-over-year basis. During the week ending June 11, the roads’ carloads totaling 332,491 units decreased 2.2 percent compared with the same 2004 week, according to Association of American Railroads data.

However, U.S. roads continued to build intermodal traffic. During the week, the roads moved 225,329 trailers and containers, a 3.1 percent increase compared with last year.

Through 2005’s first 23 weeks, U.S. roads boosted carloads 1.8 percent to 7,682,318 units and increased intermodal loads 6.4 percent to 4,980,015 units compared with the same 2004 period. Total estimated volume of 729.4 billion ton-miles rose 2.6 percent.

Canadian railroads had a doubly bad week No. 23 — carloads totaling 72,750 units decreased 4.9 percent and intermodal loads totaling 42,451 units fell 1.5 percent compared with the same 2004 week.

But they still were keeping their heads above water with year-to-date traffic. Through 23 weeks, Canadian roads boosted carloads 0.1 percent to 1,764,433 units and increased intermodal loads 2.7 percent to 971,375 units compared with last year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 23 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 9,446,751 carloads, up 1.5 percent, and 5,951,390 trailers and containers, up 5.8 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

Weekly traffic figures also were discouraging for Mexico’s TFM S.A. de C.V. During the week ending June 11, the road’s carloads totaling 8,391 units and intermodal loads totaling 4,342 units dropped 9.6 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2004 week. Through 23 weeks, TFM moved 198,821 carloads, up 1.2 percent, and 89,068 trailers and containers, up 8.5 percent compared with last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/17/2005